January 12, 2009
I hope that 2009 has started on a positive note for you and yours. There were many reminders during the holiday season of the generosity and compassion of the MUSC family. We concluded our Trident United Way campaign, and despite the challenges of the economy, we exceeded our goal of $230,000 to support many worthy projects in our community. In partnership with the Salvation Army and with support from the MUSC Transplant Center, Liz Nista, Angel Tree Coordinator, and co-coordinator Marian Taylor received from MUSC employees and friends more than 2,000 holiday presents for needy children in the Charleston region. In addition, more than $130,000 was raised for the Employee Furlough Relief Fund. If you have not already made a gift to this fund and you are able to do so, please consider making a contribution by the deadline of this Friday, January 16.
Without question, the most generous gift of all this holiday season was the donation of a kidney by Zachary Sutton, a student in the College of Health Professions, to a recipient that he did not even know. The transplant occurred on December 17, and both Mr. Sutton and the recipient are doing well. Our faculty members strive to nurture the values of caring and compassion in all of our students, and it is clear that our students can teach us all a great deal about generosity and selflessness. We thank all of the outstanding clinicians who run the organ transplant program at MUSC, and we thank Mr. Sutton for his courageous and inspirational gift.
As the New Year begins, it is traditional to make some resolutions. Perhaps you have already set some personal goals for yourself this year. In addition to those individual goals, I would ask that together we make a collective resolution for the Medical University. My hope is that we can work as a family to serve the people of South Carolina by coordinating and enhancing the combined talents and dedication of our extraordinary faculty, staff, and students. There has never been a time of greater need for us to join together for the benefit of our fellow citizens, and in serving others, may we find a renewed sense of shared commitment in the University and its mission.
Finally, the challenges of the economy remain at the forefront of our minds. Governor Sanford has released his budget for the next fiscal year and soon the General Assembly will begin its own deliberations on next year’s budget. The Board of Economic Advisors will issue a report this week on revenue collections for the current year. Even if revenue projections are reduced further from the December numbers, we do not expect a budget cut to be enacted at this time. However, it is likely that one could occur in the next several months. While we do not know how large such a cut would be, we have asked the individual units to prepare plans in anticipation of a reduction so that we can respond quickly and responsibly at the appropriate time.
As we move forward in the days ahead, I will do my best to keep you informed about any changes in the state budget and how we plan to respond to them. In the meantime, I want to thank you again for all that you do for the Medical University and the people of South Carolina. In a time when each of us is being tested as never before, we have the opportunity to demonstrate our resilience and our resolve and I know that we will rise to the occasion.